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Dillard's, Inc.
Traded as NYSEDDS
Industry Retail
Founded 1938
Founder William T. Dillard
Headquarters Little Rock, Arkansas, U.S.
Number of locations
330 stores (March 2015)[1]
Area served
United States
Key people
William T. Dillard II
(Chairman and CEO)
Alex Dillard
Products Clothing, footwear, bedding, furniture, jewelry, beauty products, and housewares.
Revenue Increase US$ 6.121 billion (FY 2010)[2]
Increase US$ 343 million (FY 2010)[2]
Increase US$ 180 million (FY 2010)[2]
Total assets Decrease US$ 4.374 billion (FY 2010)[2]
Total equity Increase US$ 2.087 billion (FY 2010)[2]
Number of employees
38,900 (January 2011)[2]
Website Dillards.com

Dillard's, Inc. is a mid-range department store chain in the United States, with 330 stores in 28 states.[3] Headquartered in Little Rock, Arkansas, Dillard's locations are concentrated in Texas and Florida; with a major presence in other states including Arizona, Iowa, Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas, Missouri, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Louisiana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, North Carolina, Virginia, Idaho, South Carolina, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, and Illinois. Dillard's also maintains a minor footprint in California and Montana. Its main competitors are JCPenney, Macy's, Sears, and Bon-Ton, and regional nameplate stores such as Belk, Bloomingdale's, Nordstrom's, Neiman Marcus, Sak's Fifth Avenue, Younkers, and Von Maur.


Dillard's is the outgrowth of a department store founded in 1938 by William T. Dillard; its corporate headquarters remain located at the eastern edge of Little Rock's Riverdale area, and many of its executives and directors are members of the Dillard family.

The exterior of a Dillard's flagship department store at Dallas' NorthPark Center.


Dillard sold the original five and dime store in Nashville, Arkansas to develop a department store in Texarkana, Arkansas initially as the minority partner in Wooten & Dillard. In 1956, Dillard led an investment group that acquired the Mayer & Schmidt store in Tyler, Texas. This store eventually took on the name "Dillard's Mayer & Schmidt" until 1974, when it was replaced with a mall-based location south of downtown Tyler.

In 1960, Dillard acquired and turned around the failing Brown-Duncan store in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The success of this turnaround was followed in late 1963 by acquiring the Joseph Pfeifer store in Little Rock, Arkansas, and in early 1964 acquiring the other main store in Little Rock, Gus Blass Co. Dillard used this as an opportunity to relocate his headquarters to Little Rock. In 1969, Dillard and his investors took Dillard Department Stores, Inc., public on the American Stock Exchange.

Thereafter, the chain expanded rapidly as an anchor in suburban shopping malls, and took advantage of market conditions to acquire smaller chains as well as its ability to turn around locations that other companies could not operate profitably.

Acquisitions and expansion

Expansion of the Dillard's chain increased rapidly during the 1970s, mainly through expanding into new malls being built in smaller cities in Texas. In 1971 five Texas units were acquired from Fedway, a division of Federated Department Stores (the stores were rebadged as Dillard's in 1972). In 1974 five Leonard's stores were acquired in Fort Worth, Texas, as well as a commitment to open a new downtown Fort Worth store at the Tandy Center (site of the original Leonard's). Also in 1974, the former Brown-Dunkin, Blass, Pfeifer and Mayer & Schmidt stores were fully renamed Dillard's.

Interior of a Dillard's store, Greensboro, North Carolina

The 1980s brought the purchase of many local chains. In 1982, Dillard's leased three units of the defunct Lowenstein's chain in Memphis, Tennessee. In early 1984, Dillard’s acquired 12 Stix, Baer & Fuller stores in St. Louis and Kansas City from Associated Dry Goods Corp., while in fall 1984 two department store divisions were purchased from Dayton-Hudson Corporation: Diamond's and John A. Brown, with locations in Arizona, Nevada and Oklahoma. Twelve stores in Kansas and Missouri belonging to R. H. Macy & Co.'s Midwest Division, which was later dissolved in 2006, were acquired in early 1986, while the three-unit Hemphill-Wells company in West Texas was purchased in the summer. The stores at Sunset Mall in San Angelo and South Plains Mall in Lubbock were both converted, while the third in downtown Lubbock was closed.[4]

Dillard's during the Christmas shopping season at Ingram Park Mall in San Antonio, Texas

In 1987, Dillard's purchased 26 of Joske's 27 stores in Texas and Arizona as well as the four unit Cain-Sloan chain in Nashville, Tennessee from Allied Stores Corp. This deal gave Dillard's two major anchor locations at several malls in Texas and Arizona with many of the second locations being converted to a separate, expanded home and men's stores, a format that Dillard's utilized greatly, both to grow its store size cost effectively and to prevent competitors from gaining valuable real estate. Additionally the Joske's acquisition gave Dillard's entry into the Houston market.

Dillard's in 1988 acquired the former Selber Bros. clothing department store chain, founded in 1907 in Shreveport, Louisiana, which also had a few locations in Texas.[5]

In 1988, Dillard's purchased the three-unit Miller & Paine chain in Lincoln, Nebraska, as well as more significantly, a half-interest and operational control of The Higbee Co., based in Cleveland, Ohio with partner Edward J. DeBartolo Corp. D. H. Holmes Co., Ltd., of New Orleans, was purchased in 1989, bringing 18 units primarily in Louisiana, as well two former Diamond's units in Tucson, Arizona.

1990s acquisitions

The Ivey's chain of 23 stores in Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina was acquired from BATUS in 1990. This was followed by the acquisition of eight Florida Gulf Coast stores from Maison Blanche Co. in 1991 (which had acquired them as Robinsons of Florida only a few years before). In 1992, the remaining interest in the Higbee's stores were acquired, as well as five Ohio stores from Horne's (as part of a legal settlement, Dillard's having canceled a 1988 deal to acquire the chain). Also in 1992, three stores from the Hess's chain liquidation (five other former Hess's were acquired in 1994), two E.M. Scarbrough's locations in Austin, Texas, two former Thalhimer's in South Carolina and Tennessee, a former Lord & Taylor store in Memphis, Tennessee and three former Belk-Lindsey stores in Florida were acquired by Dillard's. Except for two Belk of Columbia stores acquired in 1995, acquisitions were eschewed for several years until in early 1997 ten buildings in Florida were acquired from Mervyns, seven southern Virginia stores were purchased from Proffitt's (which had acquired them from Hess's in 1993), and the three suburban Macy's stores in Houston were absorbed.

Late 1990s

The deal-making culminated with the purchase of Mercantile Stores Co., Inc. in 1998. The purchase of this Fairfield, Ohio-based department store company brought several chains, including Bacon's, Castner Knott, de Lendrecie's, Gayfers, Glass Block, Hennessy's, J.B. White, Joslins, Lion Store, Maison Blanche, McAlpin's, Root's and The Jones Store. Dillard's sold 26 stores of the former Mercantile Stores to May Department Stores Co. and Saks Incorporated and traded an additional seven stores to Belk for nine of theirs in southern Virginia and Chattanooga, Tennessee. Overall this deal enabled Dillard's to enhance its position in several markets in the South, Midwest and Mountain States.

Also in 1998, the chain entered California, opening its first store in a former Weinstock's at Weberstown Mall in Stockton, California.[6] In 1999 Dillard's opened a store at Mall of Georgia near Atlanta, Georgia.

Recent events

Dillard’s in Fairview, Texas opened on March 10, 2010.

After the acquisition of Mercantile, Dillard's ceased expanding through acquisitions, although eight locations of the defunct Montgomery Ward in the Midwest, and four locations from ZCMI in Utah and Idaho were acquired in 2001.

In 2004, Dillard's store credit card operation, operated as Dillard's National Bank, was sold to GE Money Bank. Customers can now be issued Dillard's/American Express cards as well the traditional Dillard's store charge. These cards can be used at any store that accepts the American Express brand.

In 2005 Dillard's opened a store at Atlantic Station in Atlanta, Georgia.

In 2008, Dillard's closed their travel agency, Dillard's Travel, alongside all in-store locations due to economic conditions. Dillard's Travel previously operated in 43 of the 318 stores.[7][8]

Current operations

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Map of Dillard's locations

The chain continues to expand and has recently added stores in non-traditional mall shopping centers. Currently, the largest Dillard's store at 365,000 square feet (33,000 m²) is located at Scottsdale Fashion Square, an enclosed super-regional mall in Scottsdale, Arizona. Within the Dallas area, the chain has a 299,000-square-foot (27,800 m2) western flagship store at the upscale Northpark Center. Its flagship store in the East Coast region, at 260,000 square feet (24,000 m2), is located in the upscale MacArthur Center in downtown Norfolk, Virginia. The home store for the chain is in Little Rock; the divided store is located in the trend-conscious Park Plaza Mall, one of the city's oldest continuously operating shopping centers in its midtown section.

In several "upper-scale" locations - like Simon Malls-owned Midland Park Mall, Texas, or in locations where another acquired store existed before the merger, Dillards operates both a Men's and Women's store(s); both located within the same mall but in separate, distinct "anchor" (locations). Dillard's also maintains separate Men's and Women's anchor stores at the Battlefield Mall in Springfield, Missouri, Melbourne Square Mall in Melbourne, Florida, Mall of Louisiana in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, First Colony Mall in Sugar Land, Texas (suburban Houston) South Plains Mall in Lubbock,TX, Central Mall in Fort Smith, Arkansas, Lakeline Mall in Cedar Park, Texas (suburban Austin), Great Lakes Mall in Mentor, Ohio, (suburban Cleveland), Oak Park Mall in Overland Park, Kansas (suburban Kansas City), and also Penn Square Mall in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

At Volusia Mall in Daytona Beach, Florida, Dillard's operates three separate two-story buildings: Dillard's East, a men's/home store; Dillard's South, a children's/juniors store; and Dillard's West, a women's store. [9]


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External links